Delaware Resolution Calls For Sperm Personhood

Author: March 6, 2012 12:23 pm

State after state after state is proposing “personhood amendments,” Constitutional amendments that would call a fertilized egg a “person.” Never mind that a full 2/3rds of fertilized eggs never go on to become fetuses, let alone an actual person. One Wilmington, DE City Councilwoman thought it was odd that all of the personhood amendments were aimed specifically toward women. So, she proposed her own personhood amendment to balance the scales of justice.

Wilmington City Councilwoman, Loretta Walsh, proposed a resolution that asks state legislatures and U.S. Congress to enact laws that forbid men from destroying their semen. From Delaware Online, the resolution read,

“[E]ach ‘egg person’ and each ‘sperm person’ should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government and be subject to the same laws and regulations as any other dependent minor and be protected against abuse, neglect or abandonment by the parent or guardian,” according to the resolution.

“What’s good for the gander is good for the goose,” Walsh said.

The resolution passed the Council. Of course, it was tongue in cheek, but is it really that far-fetched? For reference, let me head over to my trusty Bible.

“But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother. And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also.” Genesis 38:9-10

Yikes. Let me get this straight. Doodling his brother’s wife wasn’t the issue, but pulling out was? That crazy Bible!

Republicans of new, it seems, want to legislate by The Book, but apparently not the whole Book. Like with the Constitution, they pick and choose the passages that best suit their agenda, that best distract from the real issues facing the country, that do the best to boost the wealthy, the white, the male and the corporate while discriminating against everyone else. Maybe it is time to focus on some other Biblical passages. Personally, I might go with some of the teachings of Jesus, but hey, Genesis is a good start (no pun intended).

Sure, Councilwoman Walsh was using satire as a way of making a point, but is it possible that she actually had a point? Is the idea of calling a fertilized egg a “person” any more logical than calling sperm “people?” In either case, how would the census be handled? What about tax deductions? Would we all advance in age by nine months? Would women harboring fertilized eggs be able to drive in the carpool lanes? How would restaurants, movie theaters, airlines, buses and trains accommodate all these extra “people?” Would hotels have to start charging extra? Can fetuses be issued credit cards?

Thank you, Ms. Walsh, for bringing humor back into the debate, if not sanity. And men, that next sperm you spill could be the next Einstein. Think about that next time you *um* are tempted.


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  • Gen 38:9-10 is often misconstrued, as it is here. Under levirate marriage Onan was obligated to provide offspring for his childless sister-in-law so that they could provide for her in her old age or incapacitation. Onan wasn’t interested because he wanted the child to be his, so he commits coitus interruptus. The issue is that he was refusing to provide for his sister-in-law’s welfare.

  • Sounds right to me. The ridiculousness of the battles we have to fight needs to be pointed out, loudly and often. The whole rightward movement in this country is surreal. I can’t believe the battles we’re having to fight all over again, and that there are women who willingly submit to being demeaned. (See “Civil Rights: Exposing the Belly of the Beast” at Grow some balls, sisters!

  • If anyone needs me, I’ll be committing a “Virginia genocide”.

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